QUESTION: By Criticizing Ellen White Aren't you Fulfilling her Prophecy?
Our critics like to point to a prediction Ellen White made in a letter in 1890 and say that our criticisms of her visions are a fulfillment of that prophecy. They typically quote from Selected Messages (book 1):
Satan is . . . constantly pressing in the spurious--to lead away from the truth. The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Prov. 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God's remnant people in the true testimony. (p. 48)
Wait a second! Something is missing here! In 1980 the White Estate released the entire paragraph. Take special notice of the section in red:
The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God's remnant people in the true testimony. He will bring in spurious visions to mislead, and will mingle the false with the true, and so disgust people that they will regard everything that bears the name of visions as a species of fanaticism; but honest souls, by contrasting false and true, will be enabled to distinguish between them. (Manuscript Releases Vol. 10, p. 311)
Suddenly the picture changes! When read in context, it is clearly not talking about critics of Ellen White, but of visionaries who would come along with their own visions and would so disgust the Adventist people that they would discard the visions altogether. Although a number of visionists have arisen in the SDA Church over the years, none of them reached the prominence of Ellen White and her prediction has not come to pass.
As noted earlier in this FAQ, since Mrs. White first began having "visions" there have been many who, baffled by the mixture of contradictions, falsehoods, and confusion contained in the visions, have stood up to question their validity. Critics of Ellen White are not a special manifestation of the last days. If anything, she had more severe critics while she was alive than at any other time. Certainly no later critic has ever come close to equalling the damage done by D.M. Canright. Critics have been with us since her first vision, and they will continue so long as the SDA claims divine inspiration for her hallucinations.